Search Content

Search form

Explore the World of Cigars
Staff Reviews

Avo Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

I’m smoking a famous cigar straight from the mighty House of Davidoff today: the illustrious Avo No. 2, a 6-by-50 Toro dressed in a light-blond Ecuador Connecticut wrapper. As soon as the winter weather breaks, I’m on the lookout for good cigars I can enjoy on the golf course and on my patio. Avo cigars come with the reputable pedigree of Davidoff as they’re handmade in the company’s factory in the Dominican Republic.

Before he was known for Avo cigars, brand founder Avo Uvezian was an established jazz pianist. Famous for his Panama hat and white suit, Avo was rarely without a cigar before his passing in 2017 at the age of 91. The first Avo cigars debuted in 1987 and were made by Hendrik Kelner, who became the chief blender for Davidoff. Avo cigars were originally sold exclusively in the Davidoff store, and the production was very small, around 5,000 in the late 1980s. When Davidoff bought the distribution rights for Avo in 1995, production swelled to over three million cigars by 1997 during the Cigar Boom.

Although Davidoff cigars aren’t known for being affordable, other brands the company owns, like Avo, Camacho, and The Griffin’s are produced to appeal to a broader range of consumers with less pricey alternatives. The original Avo blend has long been considered the closest thing to a Davidoff White Label cigar because it’s blended with a Connecticut-seed wrapper, grown in Ecuador, and mellow core of Dominican long-filler tobaccos. Avo cigars go for around $12 apiece, less than half of Davidoff Aniversario No. 3, a comparably blended cigar, handmade in the same 6-by-50 dimensions as the No. 2 I’m smoking today.

The classic Avo line comes in a cedar box of 20 cigars. I choose an oily, dark-blond Toro from the top layer of a newly opened box of No. 2s. A subtle bouquet of fresh bread and grain offers a nice first impression when I take in the cigar’s cold aroma. The cigar appears to be well made, too, when I perform a quick pinch test – but that’s what you would expect from cigars coming out of the prestigious Davidoff factory. After clipping the cap, the cold draw is nutty and grassy with a touch of sweetness, and an ample amount of air freely passes through the cigar.

I enjoy the soft and creamy notes you get from a lot of Davidoff cigars, but Avo No. 2 starts off herbal and bitter. Notes of cocoa powder poke through a mossy profile of pepper and wood. The burn is crooked within five minutes, but I’m able to correct it with a few precision blasts from my ST Dupont Defi Extreme Torch Lighter, my favorite outdoor torch.  

Avo No. 2 maintains a smoky and woody flavor with hints of caramel and white pepper after I’m fifteen minutes in, but the foundation is musty and dry with a taste of burnt toast. I long for the creamy texture and notes of nuts and coffee bean I’m accustomed to getting from other easygoing Dominican cigars. Thankfully, the original Avo blend drifts away from its bitter flavor as the second half unfolds.

A palatable profile of white cocoa powder and cedar finally develops after thirty minutes but I’m not sure if it’s enough to fully redeem the chalky taste and crooked burn that plagued the previous moments of Avo No. 2. Now that the profile has picked up in quality, I’m much more curious about the finish as I peel off the band and prepare to indulge in the nub.

Notes of oak and pepper mingle with hints of vanilla and minerals throughout the last ten minutes. The aftertaste is a definitive improvement over the initial impression Avo No. 2 offered, but I’m somewhat puzzled by this well-known Dominican cigar. I’m levying an 83-point rating on it today with the hope it will improve if I smoke it again tomorrow.


Featured Products